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Magento is an open source PHP based Ecommerce platform specifically developed for online shopping with powerful features and functionalities which are customizable, flexible and scalable for a seamless shopping experience.

Magento is presently owned by Adobe Inc, which they acquired in 2018 from Permira, a British firm. The platform was first launched in the year 2008 by Varien, a company founded by Yoav Kutner and Roy Rubin. This was developed as an alternate platform for osCommerce which was popular but lacked customization and flexibility. Magento was owned by eBay between 2011 and 2015 before it was bought by Permira.

Magento 1 was the initial version launched in 2008 which no longer received updates and support. A later more powerful version named Magento 2 was released in 2015 with a host of features like more speed, higher performance, better user interface and robust security, etc.

Magento is currently available as an OSL 3.0 license which is an open source license where public can download and develop features and customize the platform for their use as well as distribute them.

Magento is the most popular eCommerce platform used by famous retail brands like HP, Ford, Jaguar, Procter & Gamble, Coca Cola, Nestle, etc because of its ease of use, customization, many functionalities, scalability, easy intergration, etc.

For businesses and individuals who want to develop a long-term professional eCommerce site, you should think of Magento as a priority. Magento is the best open-source to build an online store. But the vital thing is it’s very professional and totally free.

You just need to understand a little English and technology is absolutely able to build yourself a “monumental” site with this open-source.

There are some basic features of Magento:

  • Product management: with many images, optional comment reviews products, a favorites list, inventory.
  • Category management: easy to find and select products by category
  • Inventory management: management of products left in stock, import, export …
  • Client account: account status, transaction history, preferred catalog, address, shopping cart …
  • Customer service: enhance the features, customer contact form; the comprehensive follow-up, email service.
  • Order Management
  • Payments: Many payment methods such as credit card, PayPal,, Google Checkout, support for external payment modules like CyberSource, ePay, eWAY, and more.
  • Search technology: fast, friendly, support search on Google SiteMap
  • International support: multi-lingual and monetary
  • Promotional and marketing tools: coupons, promotions, and more.
  • Analyze and report: integrate with the Google Analytics service and provide multiple reports.

PHP is the language in which Magento was written and it als uses Zend Framework architectural design. Magento also uses other open source technologies apart from PHP. Magento uses Apache and Nginx web servers, relies on PHP and Composer, uses MySQL and MySQL Percona as its database for superior performance, flexibility, data security, etc. Require, JQuery, HRML5, CSS3/Less, Knockout are frontends, uses Elasticsearch as search engine, Varnish is used as the HTTP accelerator for high performance, Redis is the cache storage method for quicker response time.

Magento uses four layered architecture viz., domain layer, persistence layer, presentation layer and service layer. Domain layer contains more of business logic and generic data pertains t the business and does not contain specific information or database. The persistence layer is used to map objects to the data stored in database server by utilizing SQL codes, performs data logics such as start and stop process, saving, retrieval, validation, etc. Presentation layer represents the store front such as themes, blocks, layouts, templates, product appearance, widgets, display and also process command interface from users. Service Layer is the key link which communicates between the domain layer and presentation layer, controls API functionality for interoperability.

All commands from the store are interpreted by the service layer for seamless coordination of store behavior. The layered architecture is a main component in separating the front and back end of any design which allows modification of each without affecting each other performance and improved customizations.

There are many other popular ecommerce platforms available and are used by business for their online store presence such as WooCommerce, Shopify, OpenCart, BigCommerce, etc. Magento scores higher in terms of functionality, performance, security, customizability, support and various parameter vis a vis other platforms.

WooCommerce is suitable for mini stores and small business with less foot falls and lesser inventory and order management, while Magento is more advanced and suitable for bigger store formats with lots of order processing, high transactions, large inventory, scope for high scalability. Since Magento is a high performance platform, it requires a sizeable hosting setup with about 4 to 8 GB memory whereas WooCommerce stores can manage with around 1-2 GB of memory which is cost effective.

Shopify caters to small and medium stores which also be scalable. Most small start up stores use Shopify as it is easy to learn and has online support. Shopify is a pre hosted platform available on a monthly payment with various feature options whereas Magento is open source and free but has to be hosted on a paid hosting provider for better support and performance. Multilingual support is built in for Magento whereas Shopify needs extensions and plug ins. Shopify is easy to use with less technical expertise while Magento needs some level of technical knowledge.

OpenCart is a free ware and used by many beginners and attractive for small business to start their web stores by designing and modifying its features. It is based on PHP and has similar features like Magento. But Magento offer a more robust catalog feature with unlimited product listings under numerous categories, promotional features, coupon generation, etc which are extremely advantageous.

BigCommerce is similar to Shopify and OpenCart in terms of target users, who are small and medium with limited scalability and transactions. It is a subscription model with plans starting from 30USD to 300 USD depending on the features and modules, and a catch of 40000 USD limit on sales per annum for each store. With Magento there is no limit on sales volume per store.